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Jones-san: Working With Monster Operations: Neutralization

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You can hear your heart pounding as you sat on a metal folding chair in an empty black room. The only source of light to be found was provided by the laptop sitting on a steel office desk several feet in front of you, and the only sound to be heard came from the whirring of its internal fan. You took in a deep breath of the stale, sterilized air; you were nervous, but steadfast. Today was the day you had been waiting for, the day you had trained so hard for. This would be the day of your first official assignment.

The screen flickered to life, and the blank white screen before you was replaced by a video feed. It was difficult to see anything other than a black static pattern at first, but the more your eyes adjusted to the display the more you could make out the silhouette of a man sitting at some kind of table in a dark room, much like yourself. Suddenly everything around you had become oddly quiet, as if all other noise had been muted by the appearance of this ominous figure. When you thought the silence had become all but unbearable, the man spoke:

"Hello, agent Jones."

The hairs on the back of your neck stood up, every part of your body now at attention. Jones was not your real name; not even a part of it. It was the code name that you have been assigned, and it had been drilled into your mind so much that it might as well have been your real name. Hell, you don't even think you'd be able to recognize your real name if your mother called for you in a crowd... not that she would know where you are or what you've been up to.

"I... apologize for the secrecy of our current meeting," the man continued, folding his hands together, "but you must understand that many things have changed. In the time that non-humans have integrated into human society, rules and regulations have been added and removed, rewritten and expanded, to meet the needs and demands of both parties. However, the current law is far from perfect, and with that comes the chaos of unseen scenarios that governments from around the world had not taken into account."

You could feel a shiver run down your spine as several photos appeared around the screen, showing a variety of different monsters and humans, all engaging in atrocious acts against one another. Most were violent, others were even beyond that. As the man resumed talking, the images each began to close one by one.

"For the most part, these incidents have been... contained, thanks to the efforts of the newly formed Monster Operations branch specialized in the neutralization of threats. You have proven to be one of our most promising operatives in training thus far, agent Jones, and so you too shall join M.O.N. Effective immediately you are to be assigned to the Japanese branch of Monster Operations, and will be acting as their temporary field operations commander." A picture popped up next to the video feed. It was of a Japanese woman with long dark hair, sporting a pair of rectangular sunglasses and a rather serious expression. "Your supervisor will be agent Smith, a veteran and the current field operations commander. This assignment will gauge your abilities, and will ultimately decide whether you are a worthy asset... or a grave mistake."

A lump formed in your throat as he spoke those last words. Something about his tone of voice made you think that you weren't exactly trusted by this seemingly high ranking gentleman. As you continued to stare at the screen in silence the mysterious man nodded once, as though to confirm your thoughts, before speaking to you one last time.

"Your transport has landed; once you are inside it will be en route within the hour. Good luck... commander." Then, as suddenly as the broadcast had begun, the computer exploded.

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"Oh man, he really pulled THAT one on you?" Smith chuckled, leaning her head back and laughing out loud before attempting to control her amusement. "don't let it get to you, rookie-kun; he's always doing something to scare the new guys."

It had been a couple of hours since you received your first assignment from a mysterious, unidentifiable man. After the laptop the two of you had been using to communicate exploded into several pieces, you found yourself in shock for several minutes, unable to process what exactly had just happened. After shaking off the daze that the whole situation had put you in, you boarded the private jet that was waiting for you and immediately departed, arriving (much to your surprise) exactly within the hour. Upon landing in Japan you were greeted by Agent Smith who was... interesting, to say the least. Her black pristine uniform, matched with her equally dark hair and sunglasses gave her an authoritative appearance. She almost seemed unapproachable when you first shook her hand. Now the two of you were having coffee together in a cheap, sparsely populated cafe while she made light of your experience receiving your assignment. The disconnect would have been unsettling if not for the fact that, oddly enough, it seemed to suit her.

"It just... caught me off guard," You manage to mutter, suppressing your embarrassment as best you could.

"Relax, rookie-kun, that's just the way he is. He doesn't seem like much, but Agent Brown is known for his pranks... he considers them his 'initiation rituals'."

So that was Agent Brown, you thought to yourself as you nodded. Given the chance to relax you suddenly remembered that, back when you were still in training, the supervisors would talk about an Agent Brown who would terrorize the younger recruits. They would also mention that he was senile, and that his favorite pastime involved over-dramatizing situations to the fresh recruits... thinking about it now in hindsight you don't know why you didn't see any of that coming.

"Still," Agent Smith continued, her tone of voice suddenly becoming serious, "I'm glad they sent you. From what the papers tell me you're very skilled; knowledgeable in three different martial arts, fluent in four languages, advanced understanding of computer code and hardware, and an above average physical and mental fitness. I must say, that's one hell of a resume."

"T-thank you," you replied, unsure as to where the conversation could turn next. Was there a reason she specifically needed someone with your skill set? Why was this assignment given to you, a fresh agent with no prior history on the field? Your muscles tensed as Smith took a sip of her coffee, putting it down on the table as she cleared her throat. Whatever it was that she had to tell you next, it seemed serious...

"I've been planning this awesome vacation just for me," Smith grinned, "so I need someone to take care of all the documents I had stacked up since last month!"

Every single muscle in your body gave way in an instant. Her statement was so spontaneous and ludicrous that you felt like you were going to fall out of your chair. Documents? Vacation?! What kind of agent WAS she?! "W-wait a minute," you sputter, "I was told that I was going to be a field commander, not a secretary! This has to be some kind of mistake!"

"No mistake here," Smith confirmed with a smile, "I don't know if Agent Brown or any of your superiors told you anything about me, but I have more than just one job. I'm not just a field commander for M.O.N operations, but I'm also a Cultural Exchange Coordinator. You will be overseeing only half of my duties as a C.E.C, and that means sorting and handling Cultural Exchange related documents. The rest of your time will be spent with the girls."

"The girls?" You cocked your head to the side in confusion. There had been no mention of any 'girls' in the details of the assignment... did Agent Brown secretly set you up for some kind of Cultural Exchange baby sitting gig?

"You'll see," She chuckled, giving you a quick sly wink.

At first you were perplexed, unsure as to what she could possibly be talking about, but the moment she stopped talking you began to notice the commotion in the cafe that you had been unconsciously tuning out. There were a couple of non-humans having an argument with one of the human waitresses; a male cyclops and his female kobold friend. You couldn't exactly make out what they were saying, but from their body language and their gesturing they seemed to be displeased with the service and were trying to get a discount. The kobold appeared to be the reasonable one, while the cyclops seemed to become increasingly restless, baring his teeth and folding his arms tightly together. The poor waitress tried to calm the both of them down, but there was no denying that the cyclops was furious. Even the kobold, who seemed to be on the cyclops' side moments before, was trying to appease her friend along with the waitress.

Eventually, after a few minutes of arguing back and forth, another human stepped in to defend the waitress. Judging by his uniform he looked to be the manager of the establishment. Neither the manager nor the irate cyclops seemed to be holding back their opinions, resulting in a long string of insults. Other cafe patrons started to disperse, most of them exiting the building as the other waitresses scrambled to prevent them from leaving without paying. Then, when it seemed like the tension could not get any worse, the cyclops struck the manager across the face, sending him flying across the room and into a nearby table. Anyone who had not vacated earlier began screaming and shouting as the cyclops started smashing tables and flinging chairs, all while the kobold was latched onto him, yelping and desperately attempting to calm him down. You instinctively stood up, making your way towards the hostile non-human, but before you could even take a step Agent Smith had grabbed onto your arm, holding you in place.

"I wouldn't do that if I were you," She whispered smugly, "we've already got this under control." Before you could ask her what she meant, before you could even think about asking her about what she meant, all hell proceeded to break loose.